When it comes to domestic violence, the COVID-19 stay-at-home and social distancing orders are only increasing the number of abuse cases nationwide. People who normally get a break from abuse have now been stuck at home with their abusive partner for weeks. For immigrant households this can be even more challenging if victims are unaware of available resources and help.
What resources are available for domestic violence? Whether it’s you or someone you know, it’s important to know where to turn for support. Local and national organizations are still helping victims and survivors seven days a week. Some of their best resources may include 24-hour hotlines or chats, emergency shelters, children’s programs and legal assistance. Below we share details for some of the organizations that can help during this challenging situation:
Women’s Center & Shelter
The Women’s Center & Shelter offers counseling, shelter space, legal counseling, and children’s programs. Here’s how you can get help:
- Call their 24-hour hotline at 412-687-8005
- If you fear for you and your children’s immediate safety, you can call 911
- Reach them on Facebook Messenger or Instagram or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can leave a confidential message. Make sure to delete the message and erase your cookies on your end if your abuser monitors your devices. Their Facebook, Instagram and outreach email address are monitored during normal business hours only.
Pittsburgh Action Against Rape
PAAR offers support for victims of sexual abuse and human trafficking. To get help:
- Call their 24/7 helpline: 1-866-363-7273
- Text and chat through their website https://paar.net/
- Legal counseling and services for survivors of sexual violence: 1-866-363-7273
National Domestic Violence Hotline
- Visit their website https://www.thehotline.org/help/ and use the confidential CHAT option.
- For any victims and survivors who need support 24/7, call 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 for TTY
- If you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522.
The stay-at-home order during the pandemic is making the situation at home tough for people in abusive relationships. You are not alone. Get the help you need with the resources above.
If you know someone who needs the help, please encourage them to reach out. Some people may not act immediately, but with your advice they will be more inclined to reach out at the right time.
Love is respect; even more so in the time of COVID-19.
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